On October 5, a wealthy Chinese man was sentences to 10 years and six months in prison for killing his wife’s cousin and sawing his body to pieces.
Judge Terence Schultes of the Supreme Court of British Columbia sentenced Zhao Li to 10 years and six months in prison for shooting Yuan Gang, a Chinese tycoon, and dismembering his body. The court acquitted Zhao of second-degree murder earlier this January, but convicted him of manslaughter.
Zhao had previously served custody for more than five years after killing Yuan Gang on May 2, 2015. As each day in custody counted as 1.5 days toward his sentence, Zhao faces just two years and four months additional prison time.
The incident took place in Yuan’s multi-million mansion on King Georges Way, West Vancouver, where Zhao and his family also lived. The two men were discussing plans for a joint venture when Yuan proposed to marry Zhao’s daughter in exchange for a 50 percent share in the venture.
“This is incest,” Zhao said. In a later description of his response to Yuan, Zhao told him that “you become a beast for being incest.”
Yuan was infuriated by Zhao’s response, and the two men launched into a deadly brawl that resulted in Zhao shooting Yuan with a rifle. Zhao proceeded to saw the body into pieces. His wife and mother-in-law reported him to the police.
While there is no dispute over Zhao’s criminal conducts, Judge Schultes found no evidence proving that Zhao had intended to murder Yuan. The intent to kill is prerequisite for a murder verdict in Canada, which brought Judge Schultes to close the case with manslaughter.
The lavish lifestyle of the Chinese family drew public attention to the case. Yuan owns a number of multi-million mansions, a Rolls-Royce, and a private island. Zhao also owns multiple assets, and his daughter, Florence Zhao, was known as “Flo-Z” when she starred in the popular reality show “Ultra Rich Asian Girls” on YouTube.
However, the court ruling touched upon the Zhao’s difficult upbringing back in China. His father opposed the Chinese Communist Party during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, which landed Zhao in a labor camp during in his teenage years. The ruling noted Zhao’s childhood experiences left him “very sensitive to his surrounding” and “afraid of doing things to make people unhappy.”